Ubisoft cancels The Division Heartland, the latest AAA free-to-play game casualty

Ubisoft cancels The Division Heartland, the latest AAA free-to-play game casualty

Ubisoft has ended development of The Division Heartland, the free-to-play game set in the universe of Tom Clancy’s The Division, the company announced Wednesday. The game was announced in 2021. The publisher said it will divert resources elsewhere, specifically to XDefiant and the Rainbow Six franchise.

The Division Heartland was set in the wake of a devastating pandemic that ravaged the fictional flyover town of Silver Creek. In the multiplayer game, developed by Red Storm Entertainment, players would have to cope with an ever-changing contamination, new survival obligations, and a deadly nighttime cycle in the free-to-play spinoff of The Division franchise. Ubisoft made a big showing of Heartland at its Division Day event last year, and conducted closed playtests of the game. But it appears that the publisher is following the direction of many other publishers who are canceling in-development projects or giving up on free-to-play live-service games.

In recent months, multiple AAA publishers and studios have canceled their in-development live-service games. That includes the long-in-development The Last of Us Online at Naughty Dog and Blizzard Entertainment’s untitled fantasy survival game. And just last week, Microsoft ended further development on Redfall inline with the closure of Arkane Austin.

Still, The Division Heartland’s cancellation stands out, considering the publisher’s commitment to troubled projects like Skull and Bones — which had a decade-long development cycle — and the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake. But diverting more resources to XDefiant may be just what that delayed, substantially reworked Tom Clancy game needs.

Ubisoft has two other announced The Division projects in the works: The Division Resurgence, a free-to-play multiplayer third-person shooter mobile game, and The Division 3, which Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft confirmed was in the works last September.

The Division Heartland is one of many cancellations Ubisoft has confirmed in recent years. In 2023, the company canceled three unannounced titles alongside Immortals Fenyx Rising 2. The year prior, it slashed four in-development projects that weren’t publicly announced.

Ubisoft’s lineup for the next year now includes Assassin’s Creed Shadows (officially revealed earlier today), Rainbow Six Mobile, Star Wars Outlaws, The Division Resurgence, and XDefiant.